Hello Sommer! Thank you for your comments and all of the amazing work you are doing in inspiring peace and compassion around the world! It would be great to connect sometime to see if we could participate in The Compassion Games with the young women in the WALC program. CCFC is in the central highlands of Guatemala, a 5-hour bus ride from Guatemala City, so we aren't too close to Play for Peace, but CCFC staff frequent visit the city for other reasons. It would be wonderful to connect with Sarah Gough and Play for Peace. Peacebuilding is a key element to the work that CCFC is doing, working with young women to empower them to fulfill their potential and improve their communities. Best to you in all that you are doing, and I hope that we can connect sometime!
Hello Kate, Thank you for your comments. I am partnering with CCFC from Minnesota, have led several trips to CCFC and am returning in 4 days! CCFC partners with many organizations in the region of Alta Verapaz and in Guatemala as a whole in addition to North American partners. One of their key partners in the region is WINGS, an organization that works for women's reproductive health education and services. CCFC also works ecumenically with faith organizations in the region and significantly with environmental organizations, including local birding and orchid societies. I think that as CCFC grows and has more staffing capacity, they excel at partnering with other organizations in Central America and beyond, utilizing their model of intersection between community development and environmental protection. CCFC co-directors, Rob and Tara Cahill, would have more specific answers to your question, but they are in a remote area of Columbia with no cell service. I'm hoping that they will be able to give more specific answers to your questions about particular organizations before the deadline on Friday. Best!
Hi Raul, Great question! CCFC's WALC program is highly cooperative. The young women who live together for 25 days share the roles of cooking, dishes, cleaning, and even taking out the composting toilets. Working together teaches both cooperation and responsibility, and it get the jobs done! The WALC program also has a peer-teacher model. After a young woman goes through the 25-day WALC leadership training program, she can come back for another session. Each session that she attends all 25 days of, she earns another scholarship. As she attends more sessions, she is given more responsibility and in that way the women move their way up from student to teacher. Some of the women then go on to other careers in nursing or tourism or anything else. But some of them have stayed on and become teachers with WALC. The woman who is standing with the peaches in the attached photos went through a number of years of WALC and now overseas the other teachers; she is a phenomenal leader, even having been invited to speak at Cornell. She has now been to a university in Coban, Guatemala and earned her degree in teaching with the WALC scholarships she has received. So the goal is to have the Mayan young women actually running the program themselves, and it is slowly getting there! Best to you!